Eastern, Northeastern, Red Lion, York Suburban and West York school districts all had similar threats by students this week that proved to not be credible.

York Suburban assistant superintendent Shelly Merkle said she, like so many other York County school administrators, spent Thursday chasing down rumors about student threats.

"The whole county is just filled with rumor of all kinds," Merkle said.

One such rumor, that Valley View Elementary was on lockdown at some point Friday morning, is not true, Merkle said.

In York Suburban's case, they investigated two high school rumors late Thursday night with the aid of police, and in both cases, there was nothing to the threats.

What was actually said by the students compared to what ends up getting passed around Facebook is much different, Merkle said. And attendance at the high school appeared relatively normal Friday morning, she said, although it's difficult to tell because of the holiday weekend.

Eastern York School District's "unsubstantiated rumor" was started by two students and poses no threat to students, district officials said, as there is "no real evidence of danger" found.

In a message on their website, officials said that on Monday, two high school students talked about "the possibility of students being harmed during a school assembly" on Friday, Dec. 21.

That turned into a social media-fueled false rumor-fest.


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Administrators looked into it, though, and the two students who started the rumor confessed. There was never any "real threat to student safety," Eastern York officials said.

The assembly on Friday now will be done electronically instead of having all students convene in the auditorium, and Lower Windsor Township Police will be present at the high school on Friday as well.

Red Lion Area Senior High School is not under threat of a violent act, either.

Superintendent Scott Deisley, in a message on the district website, said Red Lion officials and police investigated "the threat of a possible violent act" at the high school after rumors began circulating, although he did not elaborate as to the nature of the act or when it was said to occur.

But "the rumors were baseless" and the source of the rumors, which spread by word of mouth and by text message, has been "identified and addressed," Deisley wrote.

Students and families should not be worried, he said.

"Please understand that student and staff safety is of paramount importance. Once again, there is no evidence to support any of these rumors," he said.

West York Area High School will be under police watch after the school received word of a threat by a student.

In a letter to parents on Wednesday, principal Janet May said a student made threats that fall under their "Terroristic Threats/Acts" policy, causing administrators to investigate.

The student has been removed from school for the rest of the week at least, May said, and as a precaution, West Manchester Township Police are going to have a presence at the school through the remainder of the week. Police are investigating the incident.

Additional rumors circulating about the undisclosed threats caused May to write to parents, she said, as she wanted those rumors "squelched and replaced with the truth."

"West York Area School District will not tolerate threats on student safety," May said, as she commended students who reported the information to administrators. The threat was made Monday.

The Sandy Hook tragedy and overall increased vigilance on security also convinced May it was worthwhile to write a letter to parents, when typically that's not the protocol about a terroristic threat.

And at Northeastern, officials received a report this week of one student-fueled rumor about a threat on other students. But, after an investigation, officials "identified and addressed the source of the rumor" and decided there was "no credible threat to the school district."

Superintendent Jody Nace said the "baseless" rumor still caused Northeastern to ask for an increased police presence this week at its various schools as a precaution.

"While we ask that you report rumors as you hear them to school officials, please know that if a rumor is verified, strong and appropriate legal and law enforcement actions are taken," Nace said in a message on the school website. "We would also inform the community in an appropriate and timely manner."

The York County School of Technology also has been investigating rumors of threats against students. District officials said they are taking each rumor seriously and that anyone with information is asked to contact the school.